From tubes to air and fluid distribution
The process of manufacturing tubes used for air and fluid distribution in a vehicle involves several important steps. First of all, an optimal design is required based on knowledge of the environment where the tubes will be used. It is also necessary to have know-how about the possibilities and limitations of the production process, and experience in material properties, in order to achieve a perfect result.
Usually, the first step in the process involves forming the ends of the tube so that it will fit the connecting parts. This is done using a mechanical process that is usually automated. With our experience, we can do this in a very cost-effective manner by minimizing the number of assembly tasks and components.
The tube is bent after the ends have been formed. Because our tubes are used in places where there is a very limited amount of space, we are accustomed to making a lot of small bends very close to each other so that the tube will fit. Nearly all bending is done using hydraulic and electrical apparatus specially developed for this purpose. End forming and bending are usually done in a closed-loop automated process. When necessary, simple bending can also be done using small presses.
Welding and brazing
Once end forming and bending of the tube has been completed, other components are attached, such as fittings, flanges or supplementary devices and parts. This is typically done by welding. For small volumes, we perform this task manually. For longer series, however, it is more efficient to use robots. In order to achieve the best result in terms of geometry and efficient welding, design of the welding fixtures is extremely important. This is why we work in close cooperation with local fixture specialists. Our cooperation with local specialists also enables us to be very flexible in all aspects of development and production.
If the tube has a small diameter, we use brazing instead of welding. Brazing is also a better technique when the design requires less stiffness.
We have a well developed cooperation in place with experienced varnish and surface treatment companies. This cooperation enables us to offer a wide range of solutions.
Assembly – Shorten your lead times and lower your inventory costs
Many of our customers choose to let us assemble parts for the tube solution that we manufacture. This might involve various types of hoses, fittings or nuts. We are convinced that the automotive industry’s need for outsourced assembly will increase. We have the right expertise and experienced employees, enabling us to shorten our customers’ lead times, lower inventory costs, free up resources and ensure a higher quality final product. This is why we’ve organized both Autotube’s production sites and our staff to function effectively when the automotive industry’s assembly needs increase.